It was an embarrassing moment for the new commissioner for health in Edo State, Dr. Samuel Alli, as the state chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Dr. Udoka Imoisili, took a swipe at his principal, Governor Godwin Obaseki, for the appalling state of health facilities in public hospitals, and scant interest in the welfare of doctors. Imoisili also knocked the governor for a perceived “serious disconnect between the leadership and the led”. Speaking on Monday at the opening ceremony of the Annual General Meeting of the Association of Resident Doctors under the Edo State Government Employment (ARD EDGE) Imoisli commended the doctors for being able to organise their AGM in spite of the harsh working conditions under which they operate. Imoisili identified some of the challenges facing doctors working for the state government to include: “The non-payment of hazard allowance for almost a year now, the minimum wage not paid to only doctors in the state; the disappearing residency programme; the refusal to ensure palliatives despite going to work every day in the face of fuel subsidy removal, the crappy and miserable working conditions, little or no imprest to run the hospitals”, among others. She further lamented that “the governor has refused us an audience for almost a year now despite these enormous challenges. We have written several letters requesting a courtesy visit; we have begged and lobbied with all channels humanly possible to table these challenges bedeviling our members but to no avail. You cannot claim to be solving a problem for people you are not in touch with. There is a serious disconnect between the leadership and the led”. Describing as “nauseating” a tour through most hospitals across the state, Imoisili revealed that what you find are “no restrooms, dilapidated buildings, ragged furniture, and fittings, no light source, and devoid of water; the environment, only fit for poultry”. According to her, the suggestion by the NMA that state hospitals be given some level of autonomy so that whatever is generated is plowed back into the system had been ignored. Responding, Dr. Alli, the newly inaugurated commissioner for health, who was chairman of the occasion, simply said that the governor was doing his best for the health sector, and pleaded to be given a few months to interact with the government to resolve the issues raised by the NMA.